OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 7, 2016) -

Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi issued the following statement today regarding the Government of Canada's Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, announced in Budget 2016:

Every day, millions of Canadians rely upon public transportation to get to offices, schools, community centres and - at the end of the day - home.

As a former bus driver and city councillor, I know how important investing in affordable and efficient public transit infrastructure is to allow Canadians to get to work on time and back home at the end of a long day.

An investment in mass transit does much more than make life more pleasant. It helps grow our economy. It helps support strong, inclusive and sustainable communities. Not just for ourselves but for generations to come.

I am proud that Phase 1 of our $120-billion infrastructure plan, Investing in Canada, immediately invests $3.4 billion through a new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, to help provinces, territories and municipalities maintain safe, efficient, reliable and accessible transportation networks.

These investments will help to shorten commute times, cut air pollution, strengthen communities and help drive clean growth across Canada.

We will work closely with provinces, territories, and municipalities, to invest in transit infrastructure that meets local needs and supports the renewal of public transit systems, focusing on projects that deliver increased capacity, enhanced services or improved environmental outcomes.

We have consulted many stakeholders across the country to ensure that our immediate investments address the needs of our partners and we listened.

To get projects moving quickly, the Government of Canada will fund up to 50 percent of eligible costs under this new Fund.

Under this new initiative, funding will be allocated to municipalities based on ridership. For Prince Edward Island alone, this will translate to $660,000 to support the recapitalization, modernization and renewal of public transit systems across the province.

Together, federal funding will pave the way for a responsible approach to investments in public infrastructure that will be carried forward to a long-term, sustainable plan.

Federal investments in safe, modern public transit infrastructure contribute to efficient urban transportation and help prepare Canadian communities to meet the economic and environmental challenges of the future.

Phase 2 of our plan will provide the long-term investments needed to build new transit infrastructure, and will be completed within the next year.

We are delivering rapid funding to help maintain safe, efficient, reliable and accessible transportation networks - laying down a foundation for longer term strategic investments to support public transit systems from coast to coast to coast.

My colleagues and I will continue to work with provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous partners, as well as global institutional investors and other stakeholders to inform decisions for long-term federal funding programs, which will be announced in the next year.

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Contact Information:

Brook Simpson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Infrastructure Canada
Toll-Free: 1-877-250-7154